UK: ‘Third World’ dentistry crisis, Report

British dental health is akin to that provided in Third World countries, according to hundreds of UK dentists.

This is the third year that dental professionals have written to The Daily Telegraph, raising serious concerns that the NHS dental system in England is unfit for purpose.

And it pointed to the decision by the charity Dentaid, which normally provides treatment in developing countries, to open an emergency service for poor and vulnerable people in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire,

“The NHS dental system in England is unfit for purpose,” the dentists wrote.

“Far from improving, the situation has worsened to such an extent that charity groups normally associated with providing dental care in Third World arenas now have to do so in England.

“While we applaud groups such as Dentaid, which volunteer such services, their role serves to demonstrate the lack of a proper national dental strategy and service.

“When more than 90 per cent of all dental diseases can be prevented, it is also a disgrace that children aged under 10 in England are still more likely to be treated in hospital for rotten teeth than for any other medical reason.”

Dr Tony Kilcoyne, a specialist in prosthodontics from Haworth, West Yorkshire, who organised the letter, said dentistry was “like a Cinderella within the NHS”.

“There is a massive problem here and signs of this are that vulnerable children and vulnerable adults are falling through the gaps,” he said.

Bertha R. Massie

Almost all The British Journal staff, including reporters, can be contacted by e-mail. In most cases the e-mail address follows this formula: first initial + last name + For example, Laura F. Nixon is [email protected]

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